The optimization of the management has been in the works for decades, and in the 21st century, it has reached a new step of evolution. The concept of total quality management (TQM) stems from the set of principles of the corporate organizations that are needed to gain an advantage in a rapidly globalized environment (Dresang, 2016). The thesis of this paper is that the implementation of TQM is mandatory for the continuous increase in the quality of governmental services. This research paper describes the concept of total quality management, overviews the purpose of these techniques in governmental structures, and addresses the issues that are linked to an inappropriate approach to governing in the past.
The Concept of Total Quality Management
This set of principles focuses on the constant search for meaningful improvements in the managerial process. TQM takes its roots from the scientific approach to management and further attempts to use leadership as a positive influence on the workflow (Dresang, 2016). The direction of necessary changes is set not by the organization itself, but by its customers and their demands (Dresang, 2016). All levels of the organization must be involved in the improvement process (Goetsch & Davis, 2016). While the implementation of these principles involves major high-risk changes and potential expenditures, it also maximizes the competitiveness of the organization (Goetsch & Davis, 2016). The adoption of TQM allows the company to go beyond gaining profits by providing a service or a product and begin the search for ways to have a positive effect on society.
TQM relies on several elements that stimulate the occurrence of positive changes in the organization. They include customer focus, commitment to the long-term objectives, empowerment of employees through autonomy, incentives for training and education, teamwork, and scientific approach to solving problems (Goetsch & Davis, 2016). Regarding this topic, Goetsch and Davis (2016) argue that “teamwork is a fundamental element of total quality,” as it raises the limits that can be reached by a single employee (p. 181). Combining these elements with the vision provided by the customers and synthesized by the leaders is the key to the company’s success. TQM does not call for the division of labor, but for the collaboration between all parts that have their interest in the success of a product.
TQM and the Government
The problem that is described in the case study is linked to the unsatisfactory performance of the governmental structures of the United States in the recent past. Dresang (2016) states that “quality of work received less systematic attention in many government agencies” (p. 71). This issue called for significant changes in the entire infrastructure of the United States. In order to successfully implement TQM into the government, its employees must develop high analytical and problem-solving skills (Hur, 2009). It is crucial to create a system that will enable employees to embrace these changes, rather than forcing them upon people. For example, training programs and encouragement from the top positions, along with monetary rewards for highly successful employees, can have a significant positive effect.
In the case of the government, the transformation requires a closer look into the leadership positions, their social skills, and personality. Roldán et al. (2012) argue that “the implementation of TQM programmes seems to require very radical reforms, sometimes insurmountable, in basic organisational areas such as culture and leadership styles” (p. 184). One of the major obstacles on the path to the adoption of TQM is the necessity to realign the cultural values of the organization (Roldán et al., 2012).
The quality of service or a product must be treated as a cultural value for employees, but this approach demands a specific set of personal attributes in both leaders and their subordinates (Roldán et al., 2012). The top positions must provide support to the lower hierarchical layers, at the same time, empowering them to take action by themselves. In this case study, this approach is vital for the evolution of the government through the complete restructuring, changes to the culture of the organization, and the shifting focus toward the customers.
Analysis of Diagrams and Charts
In this case study, there are several diagrams that are highly efficient in improving the structure of government agencies. TQM calls for the continuous search of ways to improve the organization, which requires ongoing analysis and changes in the workflow (Dresang, 2016). Therefore, the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle will be one of the essential charts addressing this need, albeit being simple in its nature. It will allow the government to align the needs of citizens with the proposed plan of action and then refer back to these needs to ensure that its activities are relevant to the issue.
Furthermore, aside from proper planning of actions, it is also vital for the government to analyze its performance and find vulnerable or lacking functions and units. For this purpose, a Pareto chart can provide meaningful information regarding the primary sources of issues, slowdowns, and unsatisfactory performance. This type of chart focuses on the analysis of all problematic encounters in order to find the weakest point that requires the highest attention (Dresang, 2016). For example, the post office can use it to see what step in the delivery process takes the longest and deliberately work toward its alleviation.
While the first two essential types of charts focus on defining the course for improvement and finding troublesome elements of the organization, it is also vital to measure the progress toward the increasing quality. Scatter diagrams can be used to provide the data on the relationship between two parameters (Dresang, 2016). In the case of TQM, a scatter diagram can display the change of quality over time to define the success or failure of the implemented measures.
In conclusion, this revolutionary approach allowed many organizations to improve the quality of their operations significantly, whether it is a governmental structure or a private company. Hur (2009) states that “government agencies that have employed TQM programmes are reporting the transformation of attitudinal change at work, general process improvements,” and other positive changes in their workflow (p. 847).
By aligning the goals of the organization with the principles of TQM, it is possible to reorganize any agency that provides value to its customers into a more efficient structure. The efficiency of this set of techniques led to its global implementation in many private and governmental systems in industrialized countries (Goetsch & Davis, 2016). Therefore, it is vital to repurpose all governmental structures in accordance with TQM in order to ensure the constant increase in the quality of their services. While the implementation of TQM frequently calls for drastic measures and can be met with resistance from employees, it is a definite step forward in the optimization of management.
Dresang, D. L. (2016). The public administration workbook (8th ed.). Routledge.
Goetsch, D. L., & Davis, S. B. (2016). Quality management for organizational excellence: Introduction to total quality (8th ed.). Pearson Education.
Hur, M. H. (2009). The influence of total quality management practices on the transformation of how organisations work. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 20(8), 847–861. Web.
Roldán, J. L., Leal-Rodríguez, A. L., & Leal, A. G. (2012). The influence of organisational culture on the Total Quality Management programme performance. Investigaciones Europeas de Dirección y Economía de La Empresa, 18(3), 183–189. Web.